Net-related tools are a driving force in the project, which will fuse together various products picked up in acquisition spree.
Service-oriented architecture is also key in the creation of Fusion software, John Wookey, Oracle's senior vice president of application development, told an audience at Oracle OpenWorld here. The Fusion project aims to meld technologies from PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards and Siebel Systems. Oracle anticipates the first Fusion applications will be released next year, with the suite slated for 2008.
"As the technology changes and evolves, we asked ourselves how we can improve our customers' ability to get the job done," Wookey said during his keynote speech.
People are increasingly entering the work force never having lived their lives without the Internet, he noted. That means they expect collaboration tools, instant messaging, search and other Net-related technologies to be an integral part of their tools in the workplace, he added.
Oracle expects Fusion applications to have a heavy presence on the desktop. In a demonstration, Wookey showed an Oracle applet that sits on the desktop and remains present when the user clicks on a tool linked to the Oracle database or other data sources.
For example, it remains present when Microsoft Outlook is called up to review sales leads, and provides context drawn from Oracle's database.
"We can keep the user's information in context all the time," Wookey said.
People will be able to share the information with their customers, even if those clients do not own any Oracle applications, Wookey added. A sales representative, for example, could e-mail a quote to a customer, who would then call it up and view it through the same user interface. The customer could then click on a collaboration tab and engage in an instant-messaging conversation with the sales representative.
During his keynote, Wookey also outlined the steps Oracle is taking to retain customers it gained via its software mergers--customers who may be reluctant to switch to Fusion.
The business software maker plans to indefinitely support and invest in applications from PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards and Siebel Systems, he said.
Earlier this year, it released some components of PeopleSoft 9. The company is working on new releases such as J.D. Edwards 8.12 and J.D. Edwards World A9.1, as well as Siebel 8.0.
These updates, and the Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12, are among the major sets of applications Oracle aims to introduce within the next 12 months.